The long ball continues to produce wins for the Detroit Tigers .
The Tigers will seek their eighth straight win on Sunday when they host the struggling Chicago White Sox in their series finale.
The Tigers (63-45), who led the major leagues with 37 home runs in July, rode three solo home runs Saturday to a 3-0 victory over the White Sox, who have dropped nine in a row.
They continue to hit home runs despite the absence of Miguel Cabrera , who leads the team with 32."I've always said that we have so much talent in this clubhouse," pitcher Max Scherzer said after notching his major league-high 16th win. "Miggy's a big part of it, but even without Miggy, there's plenty of guys in here that are very capable of dominating in the major leagues."
Detroit has homered in six straight games and received an unexpected boost Saturday from newly acquired Jose Iglesias . After going 166 at-bats without a home run, the third baseman hit his first homer since June 2.
Hunter is batting .369 since July 2, while Peralta - who may be facing a suspension for PED usage as part of MLB's investigation into Biogenesis, has bounced back after hitting only one homer in 38 games prior to his recent surge.
Pitching, however, remains at the heart of the Tigers' winning streak. Detroit has posted a 1.00 ERA over its last seven games and the bullpen has a 0.63 ERA in that span - conceding one run and seven hits in 14 1-3 innings.
Rick Porcello (8-6, 4.49 ERA) has been as hot as anyone in the Tigers' rotation, posting a 2.08 ERA during a four-start winning streak.
The right-hander won at home last Sunday, scattering three runs over six innings of Detroit's 12-4 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies . He is trying to beat the White Sox (40-68) for the third time in less than four weeks and has gone 7-1 with a 2.47 ERA in his last nine starts against them.
Porcello has benefited from tremendous support during his winning streak, with the Tigers spotting him 32 runs.
Andre Rienzo (0-0, 0.00) could use such support. The right-hander did not get a decision in his major league debut Tuesday after giving up three runs - all unearned - in seven innings of Chicago's 7-4 loss to the Cleveland Indians .
While Rienzo surrendered two hits and three walks around Alexei Ramirez 's error in the Indians' three-run fifth inning, he allowed just three baserunners his other six frames.
"It was fun seeing him pitch," manager Robin Ventura said. "The kid was good. For all the excitement he had of having his first start, he was great."
Rienzo is trying to become the first Brazilian-born pitcher to record a victory in the major leagues.
Rienzo, who got to pitch to fellow countryman Yan Gomes his last time out, has embraced the opportunity."I'm glad to be the second one," Rienzo said. "I hope more come."
The White Sox, who have been held to 16 runs during their skid, are trying to avoid their first 10-game losing streak since June 11-20, 1976.
Paul Konerko - 0 for his last 10 with four strikeouts - is a lifetime .355 hitter (11 for 31) versus Porcello.
|Alejandro De Aza||13||.154||2||0||0||3||2||.313||.467||.154|
|Chicago White Sox|
|July 30, 2013||Alex Rios||Day-to-Day||Left foot contusion|
|July 21, 2013||Gordon Beckham||Day-to-Day||Strained ligament, left wrist|
|July 03, 2013||Paul Konerko||15-Day DL||Strained lower back|
|July 03, 2013||Paul Konerko||15-Day DL||Strained lower back|
|July 02, 2013||Jesse Crain||Day-to-Day||Right shoulder tightness|
|June 29, 2013||Brian Omogrosso||15-Day DL||Strained right triceps|
|July 31, 2013||Miguel Cabrera||Day-to-Day||Strained lower abdomen|
|July 31, 2013||Luis Marte||15-Day DL||Recovery from right shoulder surgery|
|July 25, 2013||Torii Hunter||Day-to-Day||Left game - sore left Achilles|
|July 23, 2013||Miguel Cabrera||Day-to-Day||Strained left hip flexor|
|July 14, 2013||Justin Verlander||Day-to-Day||Left game - Right quadriceps tightness|
|July 07, 2013||Darin Downs||15-Day DL||Left rotator cuff tendinitis|
DETROIT (AP) -- Torii Hunter 's day off came to an abrupt end in extra innings.
That was fine with the Detroit outfielder - especially once he was smiling and celebrating after hitting the winning single.
Hunter's line drive to left-center field in the 12th inning gave the Tigers a 3-2 victory over the White Sox on Sunday, stretching Detroit's winning streak to eight games and Chicago's losing streak to 10. Hunter was out of the starting lineup, but he entered in the 10th with the game tied.
"I thought I had a day off, but when you come to the park, you enjoy the first couple innings. Once that fifth inning hits, you just go down to the tunnel and get yourself loose," Hunter said. "That's the way you've got to approach it."
Miguel Cabrera , who has been dealing with hip and abdominal problems, led off the Detroit 12th with a pinch-hit single. Matt Tuiasosopo ran for him and went to second on a sacrifice bunt by Austin Jackson . Hunter's single off Dylan Axelrod (3-8) drove in the winning run.
Bruce Rondon (1-1) pitched two scoreless innings for his first career win.
The Tigers have won 12 of 13, and take a three-game lead in the AL Central into a four-game series at second-place Cleveland.
"The starting pitchers are having quality starts, and our bullpen is coming in and getting the job done," Hunter said. "Timely hitting, our defense looks good ... all cylinders are clicking right now. We're just going to ride that bike until the wheels fall off."
Adam Dunn homered and had four hits for Chicago. Paul Konerko added a solo homer in the ninth for the White Sox to force extra innings.
The White Sox have lost 10 straight for the first time since June of 1976. They were aggressive early on, and it ended up backfiring.
With one out in the first, Alexei Ramirez left first base early, trying to steal second. Pitcher Rick Porcello eventually realized what was happening and stepped off the rubber, catching Ramirez in a rundown.
The next three hitters reached base on two singles and a walk, but Chicago stranded them all and came out of the inning with no runs.
"We had them on the ropes early, but you've got to push them across the plate if you're going to win," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said.
Detroit had men on second and third with one out in the second, but Jose Iglesias struck out and Ramon Santiago hit a grounder to first.
Dunn put the White Sox ahead 1-0 with a majestic drive in the fourth. His 26th homer of the year cleared both levels of bushes behind the wall in center field, disappearing into the ivy that also serves as a hitting backdrop at Comerica Park.
Chicago's Andre Rienzo , making his second big league start, still hadn't allowed an earned run in the majors until the Tigers broke through in the seventh. Alex Avila hit an RBI double, and Santiago added a sacrifice fly to give Detroit a 2-1 lead.
Chicago second baseman Gordon Beckham made a terrific sliding catch with his back to the plate on Prince Fielder 's eighth-inning popup. That helped keep the White Sox within a run.
Porcello allowed a run and eight hits in 7 2-3 innings. He struck out four and walked one. Reliever Drew Smyly allowed Konerko's homer in the ninth.
Rienzo allowed two runs and four hits in six-plus innings. He struck out three and walked three.
Detroit shortstop Jhonny Peralta - who faces a possible suspension from Major League Baseball's drug investigation - made a nice catch of Ramirez's soft liner in the 10th to start a double play.
Cabrera, who like Hunter was not in the starting lineup, came to the plate to a huge ovation in the 12th. The sight of him being announced as a pinch-hitter is obviously rare. He grounded a single up the middle to start the winning rally.
"Like he hasn't missed a beat," Tuiasosopo said. "It's incredible."
NOTES: The Tigers optioned RHP Evan Reed to Triple-A Toledo and purchased the contract of RHP Jeremy Bonderman . ... Jackson's grounder up the middle in the sixth appeared to hit Rienzo's throwing hand, but the Brazilian right-hander stayed in the game. ... Santiago, Detroit's second baseman, stayed in the game after diving to his right to make a nice play on Conor Gillaspie 's grounder in the fourth. It initially looked like he'd hurt his right leg. ... Detroit sends RHP Anibal Sanchez (9-7) to the mound Monday night against Cleveland RHP Corey Kluber (7-5). Chicago hosts the New York Yankees . LHP Jose Quintana (5-3) starts for the White Sox against LHP Andy Pettitte (7-8).